Want to resume working on my PPL, advice needed.

Doug

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I haven't flown in about 6 months. My downward spiral happened when I failed my medical due to a heart murmur. I got everything resolved, and now hold a valid medical, but I have not resumed my training since receiving it. I decided to stop while I waited to see if everything would work out, and when I got the medical(about 2 months later) it was the start of summer. By that time I had way too many summertime activities like golf, vacations, etc going on to have time for flying.

Now I want to get back into things, but I don't know that I want to do my old "once a week" thing. While being home and working I have a tough time being able to fly more than once a week(on weekends). That being said, I was wondering if there is a good place that I could train for say 2 weeks straight and earn my PPL that way. I am willing to go anywhere in the country and stay there. I figure I can take 2 weeks or whatever off work and get it done. Plus being away from home will help me with my studies since I won't have the distractions that I have at home.

Even if it is not possible to achieve my PPL in two weeks, I know that a program like that would give me a nice jumpstart back into things.

To give you an idea of where I am at, I have around 10 hours flight time, and was working on perfecting my landings during my last lesson before my failed medical.

Any thoughts?
 

Fly_Chick

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Two weeks might be quite a push to get your PPL. Usually we allot 4 weeks for 0 time through checkride when the student is full time. Weather, maintenance, instructor, plane and examiner availability come into play.

Where are you located?
 

BushwickBill

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I'd be shocked if you could pull it off in just 2 weeks. Its just not enough time. Even at a 141 school (141 = academy fast track style school) your not going to finish it off. Unless you dont need to work you will wind up leaving the school empty handed and have to start over with a new CFI where you live.

Just go to the local flight school and tell a CFI you want to fly for 14 days solid. Use multiple instructors if it isn't possible to do it with one guy. Its better than paying up front for a "fasttrack" style program and hopefully you'll be giving some CFI a big up in his/her career. Also you wont have to start over once the 14 days are up. You will be very close to solo. I wont solo unless I have flown with someone a whole bunch.

Good luck
 

Doug

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Thank you for the advice. I can see then that I would really be pushing it. How about I step back and look at it another way.

I live in Pennsylvania. This means that right now the weather stinks. Lets say I was just in the mood to get out of this state and go to a warmer climate to fly for a week or so, build up some time, and a fresh outlook. Would this be a bad idea? Is it a bad idea to fly out of a different airport/instructors/etc when learning?

I think the main thing is I wouldn't mind doing a week or 2 weeks straight of training, but I have a feeling I would find myself sitting on the ground a lot of that during fall/winter in PA..
 

MFRskyknight

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Doug said:
I live in Pennsylvania. This means that right now the weather stinks. Lets say I was just in the mood to get out of this state and go to a warmer climate to fly for a week or so, build up some time, and a fresh outlook. Would this be a bad idea? Is it a bad idea to fly out of a different airport/instructors/etc when learning?
If you've got the cash and vacation time to burn, why not? It's great to fly with different instructors at different airports, however, switching between schools is what will trip you up. I think someone else was getting at this in a previous comment, but let's say you take 2 weeks off, head down to sunny Florida, fly 3 hours a day, no clouds ever roll in, no planes ever get stuck in maintenance, and your CFIs remain hangover-free the majority of the time, you would log 42 hours. For some reason, you're not ready by then (very likely) and you have to be back in PA to work the next day. Assuming you trained 141, you could only credit 21 of those hours towards another school back home, so you wouldn't pick up quite where you left off, and you'd be in for a lot of redundant training to get up to speed. If it's done part 61, the number of hours you could credit drops to about 10.

Switching schools sucks. Whatever time frame you can do it in, whether 2 weeks or two years, it's probably better to stick with one school. Worst case scenario, you might have to wait another few months for the weather to improve. Get a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator or something and teach yourself a few tricks in that down time. ;)

MFR
 

Goose Egg

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Hey Doug,

Congrats on getting the medical. I know that can be a real pain in the rectum as I have had several students in that same boat. There has been some very good advice given in this thread so far, and I would only add one thing:

Doug said:
By that time I had way too many summertime activities like golf, vacations, etc going on to have time for flying.
I realize that not everyone's life revolves around flying as mine does, however, there will come a time when you have to ask yourself what is more important, golf or flying. Time is a scarce resource and you will eventually have to choose. Personally, I have some really nice golf stuff that collects dust. That's the choice I made. Sure, there's nothing wrong with golfing or [insert other fun activities here] every now and then, but doing so often that it precludes flying? I'd quit golfing a hundred times before I quit flying.

I'm sure that I'm not as aquainted with your personal situation as you are, and so this is a determination that you must make on your own. I may not be "dead on," but I trust the point is well taken. It's a question of priorities.

Best of luck on your flight training!

-Goose
 

Doug

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Goose Egg,

You make a very good point about priorities. Since you brought it up, I will elaborate a bit.

After the whole medical thing, I was a bit disgusted and burned out on flying to be honest. At that time, I did not have the "need" to fly like I had before. Until my medical I had flying on the brain 24/7, after it, I basically said screw it, i'll wait to see what happens with my medical, and go from there. Thing is I knew I didn't have a serious medical condition, and so did every other physician I have ever seen. I felt the AME was a quack, but I know in the end he was just doing his job. But at the same time I was afraid maybe I WILL never get my medical, so I distanced myself from flying to avoid getting too hurt...almost like a bad breakup with a gf/bf. As time ticked by waiting to hear from Oklahoma, I just went on with my life. Once I got the certificate I was happy to get it, but just took it and tucked it in my log book. By then I had moved on in a way.

Now the type of person I am, this is what I do, I can jump headfirst into something, then I kinda burn out on it, and then eventually i get back into it and finish it, this is how I seem to be with most anything I do. I knew that someday the bug would bite me again, and it would be time to fly again. My wife has been urging me to go back to lessons, and knows I want to do it. I kept telling her that I would, but wasn't feeling it yet. Then one day we were driving down the highway, and it just hit me, I said "I need to start flying again, I have that feeling".

So here I am, I have that feeling back that I need to fly.

Also, thanks for the advice about switching schools, and the pitfalls. I am thinking in a lot of ways, maybe I should just block time at my current place, and hope for good weather.
 

Goose Egg

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And all this time I thought this was about golf!

Doug said:
so I distanced myself from flying to avoid getting too hurt...almost like a bad breakup with a gf/bf. As time ticked by waiting to hear from Oklahoma, I just went on with my life. Once I got the certificate I was happy to get it, but just took it and tucked it in my log book. By then I had moved on in a way.
Oh, I've so been there before! And that goes for flying and girlfriends!

I can jump headfirst into something, then I kinda burn out on it and then eventually i get back into it and finish it...
I do this too! Over my 29 year lifespan, however, I've developed a technique for dealing with phenomenon. If I'm really interested in something but then start to sense that I could burn out on it, I put it on the proverbial "back burner." If after I have done this I find that I regain my interest, then it is definitely something that I should stick with. If not, then I just let it die and move on. Sometimes the "back burner" cycle can take months or years, but if it's really something you are interested in, it will come back to you.

Lucky you, you've regained your interest in a relatively short time. It took me a few years to get my interest in flying back.

My wife has been urging me to go back to lessons, and knows I want to do it.
That's another dead give-away. If those that are near and dear to you are encouraging you to do something, it is most likely because they have your best interests at heart, and realize that this is something that would make you happy. (And if someone encourages you not to do something that they know would truly make you happy, that's another kind of dead give-away. But I digress.)

So here I am, I have that feeling back that I need to fly.
Awesome!

Also, thanks for the advice about switching schools, and the pitfalls. I am thinking in a lot of ways, maybe I should just block time at my current place, and hope for good weather.
My take is that you probably ought to just stick with a Part 61 school and just let your training take the time that it needs. (And I say this as an instructor at a Part 141 school!) Four or five months isn't really going to make much of a difference in the grand scheme.

Remember, the skill of your instructor is the biggest factor in the quality of your training.

Best of luck! Let me know if I can help you at all.

-Goose
 

NEFlyer

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The biggest thing you can do to help yourself is get the written done. If you have soloed then 2 weeks is not impossible but slightly impractical. We allocate three weeks for flight training zero to PPL but a lot of it depends on you and how motivated you are. You will have to fly several times a day and bust your butt studying when you are not flying. It's not for everyone.
 

Doug

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I have not soloed yet. I guess I was getting kind of close, as I was mosly just working on landings. Although who can say, I may not have been close at all. The written is actually the thing I fear the most, I am a horribly test taker.
 

MFRskyknight

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Don't fear the Written!

Doug said:
I have not soloed yet. I guess I was getting kind of close, as I was mosly just working on landings. Although who can say, I may not have been close at all. The written is actually the thing I fear the most, I am a horribly test taker.
I understand different people do differently on tests, but the PPL written is honestly nothing to worry about. If you give it a week of studying and take a practice test or two immediately before it, it's impossible to fail. Hell, you'll easily end up with 90 or better.

Doug said:
So here I am, I have that feeling back that I need to fly.
Uhh... that feeling doesn't come and go while you're airborne, does it? :D

Good luck, whatever route you take!

MFR
 
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